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Trowski
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

roscopco wrote:
You did at one time give them permission to send an invite to your friend because you wanted either to get free credits or just get your buddies hooked on Vonage. The question is, how long did you intend on Vonage to keep the information?

I would assume they would contact them once and that would be it.


I am going to dust off my forum logins to comment as I saw this at dslreports also.
I am having a bit of trouble personally seeing the huge outrage in this. Obviously you put your friends names and email addressinto the refer-a-friend program. I would have to agree that it gives them the ability to contact them.

Is this spamming? It is a grey area I think as the emails had to be manually typed in by us. I would imagine my friend would be pissed if they did not know I put their email address in there and they got a "personalized" message by me.

But to drop phone service of this, especially if the service works well, is IMHO a bit hasty.

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rebus
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Joined: Dec 04, 2004
Posts: 448
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

roscopco wrote:
You did at one time give them permission to send an invite to your friend because you wanted either to get free credits or just get your buddies hooked on Vonage. The question is, how long did you intend on Vonage to keep the information?

I would assume they would contact them once and that would be it.

I gave permission ONE time for them to send a referral email. That did not constitute permission to send additional solicitations whenever they please, without my knowledge or consent. The refer-a-friend control panel give us control over how often we send it, and it requires us to click a button to generate a new email. There is also a record kept of when the last message was sent. When Vonage took it upon themselves to solicit MY friends using MY name as a personal endorsement, they never updated the last-contacted date. Very sneaky.

Point is, Vonage crossed the line by soliciting my friends and family again, WITHOUT my permission, while using MY name to do it.

Another thing I found disturbing is after this fiasco, I went in and attempted to delete all of my referral contacts. Their status now shows as "Deleted" but Vonage has clearly RETAINED all the email addresses because they still appear in the list. My wife's is among them, so it will be interesting to see what spam we get from them in the future.
 
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Trowski
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

How many total emails were sent? Is it a daily thing, etc?

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rebus
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Trowski wrote:
I am having a bit of trouble personally seeing the huge outrage in this.

Because Vonage violated a trust.

Trowski wrote:
I would have to agree that it gives them the ability to contact them.

But only when the provider of that information gives such instructions.

Trowski wrote:
But to drop phone service of this, especially if the service works well, is IMHO a bit hasty.

This is not a hasty decision. Vonage used my name for marketing, completely without permission. They were provided information with an expectation they would act as a responsible trustee, then turned around and broke that trust.

People are more concerned with "how the service works" than whether the company is ethical, and that's what companies like Vonage count on. "As long as I'm saving money, I don't care what Vonage does." People who think like that clearly don't care about right or wrong, as long as they are saving a buck.
 
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rebus
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Trowski wrote:
How many total emails were sent? Is it a daily thing, etc?

More than zero. The fact they pulled this stunt at all, is reason to expose them as unethical.

This is obviously the beginning of another phase in their marketing. Whether they have the audacity to repeat it, or have learned from this black eye, only time will reveal.
 
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Trowski
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Joined: May 16, 2005
Posts: 1389
Location: Putnam, CT

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

rebus wrote:
Trowski wrote:
How many total emails were sent? Is it a daily thing, etc?

More than zero. The fact they pulled this stunt at all, is reason to expose them as unethical.

This is obviously the beginning of another phase in their marketing. Whether they have the audacity to repeat it, or have learned from this black eye, only time will reveal.
 


I know this is going to be quite unpopular, but you DID enter their emails. I assume you told each friend you entered into their forms that you were referring them, correct? You entered their names and address into a companies marketing database.

Also, there is usually a key marked Delete on the keyboard,

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J-Mac
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Wow! I am more than a little surprised. I came to the forum today primarily to see if anyone else had found a solution to a service issue I am experiencing, since Vonage Customer Service is apparently a thing of the past. I have been a Vonage subscriber for more than three years and I am generally not pleased with the decline of their service.

This thread, however, was at the top of the forum and demanded to be read. I am especially surprised to see so many "regular" posters -- users who in the past have seemed very supportive of Vonage -- posting their displeasure here.

I have been considering a change in provider for about a month now, mainly due to little service annoyances -- like the voice message light and stutter tone refusing to end -- along with the inability to speak with a Vonage CS rep who is even remotely comprehensible, let alone knowledgeable.

And now that I logged in I see yet another reason to be disappointed. Before posting I called two persons I had referred in the summer of 2004 and confirmed that they have been receiving spam from Vonage in my name. (And yes, I DO consider it spamming, regardless of the views of a few posters here -- the agreement says that I am the one who is supposed to authorize resending any referral messages).

So this has tipped the scales for me. I will now happily, rather than reluctantly, cancel my Vonage service and sign with the other provider.

It was really nice at one time, but it has become too much of a headache lately. And I had hoped to do away with that when I left Vzn to sign with Vonage back in April 2004.

Bye all!

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rebus
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Trowski wrote:
I know this is going to be quite unpopular, but you DID enter their emails. I assume you told each friend you entered into their forms that you were referring them, correct? You entered their names and address into a companies marketing database.

If you give your keys to the valet to park your car, does that also give him permission to use the car whenever he wants?

What if he takes the car down to the 7Eleven to buy a pack of cigarettes, and when the cops pull him over, he tells them "Trowski told me to do it."? He is telling the cops you personally endorsed his travel, when in fact the only implied permission was to operate the car within the boundaries of the parking lot, for the specific purpose of parking and retrieving it.

And that is exactly what Vonage did. We gave them the keys (email addresses) for a specific purpose, and then they took the car out (spammed) when they wanted, without asking.

Trowski wrote:
Also, there is usually a key marked Delete on the keyboard,

There is also a Delete function in the refer-a-friend database, but it does not work. You hit delete, yet Vonage retains the email address.
 
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rebus
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

J-Mac wrote:
I am especially surprised to see so many "regular" posters -- users who in the past have seemed very supportive of Vonage -- posting their displeasure here....

It was really nice at one time, but it has become too much of a headache lately. And I had hoped to do away with that when I left Vzn to sign with Vonage back in April 2004.

Exactly. At one time I was among Vonage's biggest fans. I got several friends to sign up, my sister, my parents, a colleague at work, plus at work we have 4 business lines with Vonage. Now I'm going to do my best to get everyone to switch away.

Somewhere along the way over the past 2 years Vonage morphed from "Cool Upstart bringing a really cool technology to the masses", into something so "ugly corporate" that I no longer recognize them.

Their customer service has dropped into the gutter, and now they are resorting to sleazy tricks like spamming with harvested emails.

At least Verizon has never spammed me, and if I call their support line I get someone who speaks English as a first language.
 
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Trowski
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Joined: May 16, 2005
Posts: 1389
Location: Putnam, CT

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

rebus wrote:
Trowski wrote:
I know this is going to be quite unpopular, but you DID enter their emails. I assume you told each friend you entered into their forms that you were referring them, correct? You entered their names and address into a companies marketing database.

If you give your keys to the valet to park your car, does that also give him permission to use the car whenever he wants?

What if he takes the car down to the 7Eleven to buy a pack of cigarettes, and when the cops pull him over, he tells them "Trowski told me to do it."? He is telling the cops you personally endorsed his travel, when in fact the only implied permission was to operate the car within the boundaries of the parking lot, for the specific purpose of parking and retrieving it.

And that is exactly what Vonage did. We gave them the keys (email addresses) for a specific purpose, and then they took the car out (spammed) when they wanted, without asking.

Trowski wrote:
Also, there is usually a key marked Delete on the keyboard,

There is also a Delete function in the refer-a-friend database, but it does not work. You hit delete, yet Vonage retains the email address.
 


First off, the car analogy is a bit off.
You gave Vonage's marketing department the authorization to contact your friends to get something in return for you ie free months service. Did they say when you input their emails into a marketing database they would only be comtacted once?

I can understand that it may not be ideal, but my opinion is this is totally blown out of proportion considering us as users were the people that put our friends names in to the database in the first place.

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